Have Yourself A Greener Little Christmas

Six Tips For An Eco-Friendly Holiday

Six Tips For An Eco-Friendly Holiday

It might sound funny to talk about consumerism at Christmas, but the holidays are not an excuse to forget all we’ve learned about being more sustainable and responsible with the environment. Yes, Christmas is the season to purchase gifts and show the people in your life that you care, but we need to be mindful of the earth and the quality of materials coming into our homes.

Here are six tips to have a greener Christmas:

Shop Local
Select a few gifts on your list and make sure they are manufactured locally. Seek out companies that not only ‘design’ locally – but also look for items ‘manufactured’ local. Finding a gift that has been hand crafted is a great feeling for both the person purchasing the gift and receiving! Many locally made gifts have a wonderful story – make sure the recipient learns the story of why and how the gift was created.

From The Kitchen
Did you know it’s cool to can? Harkening back to how our grandparents thanked the special people in their lives is making a comeback. Christmas baking, canning, layered ingredients & attaching the recipe in a mason jar is a wonderful and healthy way to say I love you this holiday season.

Gifts Wrapped Up
Think outside the box this year with gift-wrap. Imagine the tons of waste after each family opens gifts Christmas morning and the environmental impact. Reuse what you already have or invest in reusable gift-wrap. Start traditions within your family and trade cloth Santa Sacks that can be used every year and passed down as heirloom gift-wrapping solutions. Have an old sheet of fabric not being used? Discover the art of tying knots to wrap gifts. Or have your children paint craft paper or use newspapers for greener gift presentation. Another fun option is purchasing gift bags or wrap that is embedding with seeds. Children love plantable alternatives and look forward to watching flowers grow from the paper!

Toy Packaging
The plastic packaging surrounding a gift indicates the quality of the gift inside. Toys that are packaged in plastic, bound with plastic ties is a reflection of what’s inside. Talk to your family and children about how gifts are commercially packaged. Discourage gifts that are surrounded by non-recyclable, wasteful packaging. Encourage gifts that have been gently used. Shopping for gifts 2nd hand is wonderful for helping to reuse what we already have on this planet and great for staying on budget.

Holiday Décor
Holiday décor is a wonderful opportunity to bring the outdoors inside! Go on a pinecone, acorn, and leaf expedition around your neighborhood and see what you find. Line the middle of your table with gifts from the earth that can later be composted. Replace traditions that involve disposable décor; paper crackers can be replaced by reusable felt crackers, cloth napkins, and earth friendly decorations crafted with reusable cotton.

Tree Debate
It’s the age-old debate: fake or real trees? Which one is better for the environment? Since learning that all fake Christmas trees are made from PVC – a toxic material that releases dioxin – my view is this: if you are currently enjoying a fake tree, by all means keep reusing! If you need to purchase a new Christmas tree, visit a local tree farm. Or switch things up this year and decorate a tree outside.

Suzanne Bertani is the Owner of Green Planet Parties, an online store that offers many options for reusable or plantable holiday décor. Change the ending of your next celebration – Green Planet Parties can help.